Summary: If you stay on the “beam” of His will, you will be happy and useful and arrive safely at your destination.
GETTING OFF THE BEAM
INTRO: Aviation is one of the most fascinating sciences in the world. With every passing year new discoveries are being made in the realm of aeronautics. One of the marvels of science is the radio beam, which the pilot uses regularly, but especially when he is likely to get off the course because of bad weather.
Here is a plane going from Los Angeles to New York. A terrible storm comes up, and the pilot cannot see where he is going. Now a radio beam shoots out between these two stations. The pilot finds this beam and sticks to the course and lands safely at his destination. If he goes off to one side, the beam flashes a warning and he brings his ship back into the right place. If he goes too far off he gets into danger and could wreck his plane.
Now, for the Christian this “beam” is the will of God, or God’s plan for his life. The text tells us that “whosoever doeth the will of God abideth forever.” If you stay on the “beam” of His will, you will be happy and useful and arrive safely at your destination. If you get “off the beam,” you will lose your influence, your power, your usefulness and your spiritual happiness.
I. YOU GET OFF THE BEAM WHEN YOU NEGLECT SIMPLE CHRISTIAN DUTIES.
There are some fundamental duties such as church attendance, tithing, living a consecrated life and serving God day by day. When you neglect these simple duties you are “getting off the beam.”
Here are two men who join the same church. One man goes to church every Sunday, supports God’s work with his money and engages in good service for Him. The other man seldom enters the church. He never gives anything, and is so busy with other things he has no time for the Lord’s service. Which one lives closer to God and His will? Which one has a greater influence for good? Which one is the happier and the more useful Christian? You know the answer.
ILLUS: A missionary returned from New Guinea and, someone asked him, “What did you find when you arrived there?” He replied, “I found a hopeless situation. The people were worse than beasts. Often if a baby began to cry, the mother would become angry and throw it in the ditch and leave it to die. If a man saw his father break his leg he would leave him on the side of the road to die... People simply had no compassion and no moral sense.” “Well, did you preach to them?” he was asked. “No,” the missionary replied, “I did not preach, I just lived. When I saw a baby crying I picked it up and comforted it. When I saw a man with a broken leg I mended it. I took care of them in the best way possible, and when they asked me why I did it, I told them of Jesus.” “Did you succeed?” “Yes, I left a thriving church there.”
You can see, then, that a good Christian life is effective. If you want to be the best Christian, if you want to have the most influence, you do not have to preach. Just look after your Christian duties. Stay on the job and be faithful to Him. You have a duty to your church to give and to live just as much as the preacher does. The soldier owes a duty to his country, the pilot gives his best to his plane.
II. YOU GET OFF THE BEAM WHEN YOU NEGLECT PRAYER AND BIBLE READING.
God has given us these means to help us, to strengthen us and to keep us on the right track. I can tell when a man is reading his Bible and praying, for I can see a change in his life. He grows in grace; he is more interested in his church; he is not criticizing and gossiping; he is working for the interests of the kingdom.
III. YOU GET OFF THE BEAM WHEN YOU GET ANGRY.
All of us are guilty right here. Something comes up that goes against us and we boil over like a pot of water on a hot stove. We are “off the beam” then. We are not showing the Christian spirit which we should
“But,” you say, “this is the way it is with me. I get angry, but it is soon over.” That may be true, but think of how much damage you do yourself and others in the few minutes that you are angry. Billy Sunday said, “It is like the discharge of a shotgun. It takes only a minute, but it destroys everything near it.”
ILLUS: I know a preacher who used to work at a storage battery company. In the back of the building that had shelves where the automobile batteries were placed to be charged. These batteries were filled with acid, and the acid often spilled out and ate away the wooden shelves.